Blinken urges Israel to engage with region on postwar plans that include path to Palestinian state

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is holding talks in Israel on Tuesday as he seeks a plan for Gaza’s post-war future, while Israel’s military pushes ahead with its offensive in the beleaguered territory. (Jan. 9) TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday called on Israel to work with moderate Palestinians and neighboring countries on plans for postwar Gaza, saying they were willing to help rebuild and govern the territory but only if there is a “pathway to a Palestinian state.” The U.S. and Israel are united in the war against Hamas but sharply divided over Gaza’s future, with Washington and its Arab allies hoping to revive the long-moribund peace process, an idea that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition partners sharply oppose. The war in Gaza is still raging, with no end in sight, and fueling a humanitarian catastrophe in the tiny coastal enclave. The fighting has also stoked escalating violence between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militants that has raised fears of a wider conflict . Speaking at a news conference after meeting with top Israeli leaders, Blinken said Israel “must stop taking steps that undercut the Palestinians’ ability to govern themselves effectively.” Related coverage With each strike, fears grow that Israel, the US and Iran’s allies are inching closer to all-out war Hezbollah launches drone strike on base in northern Israel but military says there’s no damage Israeli strike kills an elite Hezbollah commander in the latest escalation linked to the war in Gaza Israel, he added “must be a partner of the Palestinian leaders who are willing to lead their people” and live “side by side in peace with Israel.” Settler violence, settlement expansion, home demolitions and evictions “all make it harder, not easier, for Israel to achieve […]

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